Mounting Suspicion Over Assad’s Alleged Responsibility for Syria Chemical Attack

The mainstream media narrative that Assad’s regime is responsible for a chemical attack in Syria under scrutiny from independent analysts

In the days following the deathly chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province that killed dozens of people, including civilians, mainstream media and the majority of Western leaders, all agreed that the regime of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad is to blame for the attack.

This narrative was not challenged in mainstream media, as it was presented that Assad is undoubtedly responsible for the chemical attack. Western governments all denounced Assad as a bloody dictator who murdered his own people, while the media released disturbing images of children dying as a consequence of poisoned gas.

Again, like that chemical attack in 2013, the West seemed determined to ‘punish’ Assad and finally drive him out of power. Despite the fact there was no conclusive proof, and that reports from the site of the attack were at best unreliable and unclear, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to retaliate by missile strike on Syrian air base, presumably to hamper Assad’s ability to carry out new chemical attacks and protect civilians.

Trump’s missile attack on Syria did one thing: it united almost all of his chief opponents, US war hawks in both parties, already eager to confront Russia, the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and also the Syrian rebels, including the extremist groups who stand to benefit from the attack.

Last but not least, Trump’s missile attack on Syria secured him the support of the mainstream media, at least for the time being.

However, let us dare and challenge the official mainstream media narrative that Assad is behind the chemical attack.

Many experts and analysts said that Assad’s regime had no motive to carry out the attack, especially when the Syrian regime had made significant gains against ISIS and other Islamist groups. Such an attack would reignite the anger of international community against Assad’s regime. It is also worthwhile to mention that a chemical attack against civilians is of no military benefit for the regime.

Charles Shoebridge, UK security analyst told Russia Today the rebels were the only force that benefited from the incident.

“The people who have benefited from this kind of attack are the rebels themselves, because they have gained a major political advantage at a time when they are struggling both strategically and geopolitically.”

“There is a pattern of these incidents taking place at critical moments from a geopolitical perspective,” he said, adding that a massive chemical attack in the Syrian city of Ghouta in 2013 happened just as “the UN inspectors were arriving in Damascus,” while another chemical attack in September 2016 took place on the eve of a “major conference in London, where the Syrian opposition met with its foreign donors.”

Ammar Waqqaf, a Middle East expert, also believes that “whenever there is a sort of international conference on Syria we suddenly have these chemical attacks.” Waqqaf told RT that there is no solid evidence proving that the Syrian Army was behind the most recent attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

“This is not the first time when chemicals are used on the ground in order to say that the Syrian Army did it but there was no proof that the Syrian Army indeed did it,” he said, adding that “the allegation that the Syrian Army did it definitely needs proofs.”

Others have even suggested that the Idlib chemical attack was a false flag operation. One of them is former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who suggested that the attack could be a false flag.

“I looked at The New York Times to get the explanation, and they said ‘Worst Chemical Attack In Years In Syria, U.S. Blames Assad,’” Paul said. “So it is all over and done with? But it is not quite so easy, is it? What happened four years ago in 2013? You know, this whole thing about crossing the Red Line. And ever since then the neo-cons have been yelling and screaming — even part of the administration has been yelling and screaming about Assad using poison gasses on his people four years ago. Not quite true. It was never proven.”

U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard expressed a similar opinion, and denounced President Trump’s missile attack on Syrian air base, but also called for an independent investigation.

For sure, the main problem with Syria is the presence of conflicting information from the ground. With so many players involved in the conflict, it is hard to determine what’s going on. An earlier UN report accused all sides in the Syrian conflict of crimes against civilians.

But until we see the results of an independent investigation of the chemical attack, the present situation is bound to be used for political machinations in the midst of a diplomatic, information and economic confrontation between Russia, China, Iran and the Syrian regime on one, and the U.S. led Western world on the other side.